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Financial bootstrapping in small businesses: examining small business managers' resource acquisition behaviors

Winborg, Joakim LU and Landström, Hans LU (2001) In Journal of Business Venturing 16(3). p.235-254
Abstract
In recent years, small businesses have received much attention from policy makers and researchers, in that these businesses are considered important for economic growth and job creation. At the same time small businesses are assumed to face major problems in securing long-term external finance, which is regarded as restraining their development and growth. Small business managers are assumed to use institutional finance as a means of meeting the need for resources, and as a consequence the major part of the research on small business finance has focused on constraints in the supply of institutional (market) finance.



As we see it, most small business managers handle the need for resources using means other than external... (More)
In recent years, small businesses have received much attention from policy makers and researchers, in that these businesses are considered important for economic growth and job creation. At the same time small businesses are assumed to face major problems in securing long-term external finance, which is regarded as restraining their development and growth. Small business managers are assumed to use institutional finance as a means of meeting the need for resources, and as a consequence the major part of the research on small business finance has focused on constraints in the supply of institutional (market) finance.



As we see it, most small business managers handle the need for resources using means other than external finance by applying different kinds of financial bootstrapping methods. Financial bootstrapping refers to the use of methods for meeting the need for resources without relying on long-term external finance from debt holders and/or new owners. However, these other means of resource acquisition have, with few exceptions, not been focused on within earlier research on small business finance. Against this background, the purpose of this study is to describe small business managers' use of different financial bootstrapping methods, and, more importantly, to develop concepts that can help us better understand small business managers' financial bootstrapping behaviors.



The research process was initiated with a number of unstructured interviews conducted with small business managers, accountants, consultants, bank officials, and researchers, in order to identify different financial bootstrapping possibilities. On the basis of the interviews and an earlier study on financial bootstrapping, resulting in the identification of 32 bootstrapping methods, a questionnaire was constructed and sent to 900 small business managers in Sweden. Given the limited knowledge within the area of financial bootstrapping, the study is based on explorative factor analysis and cluster analysis.



From the cluster analysis six clusters of bootstrappers were identified, differing from each other with respect to the bootstrapping methods used and the characteristics of the business. On the basis of this information the different clusters were labeled: (1) delaying bootstrappers; (2) relationship-oriented bootstrappers; (3) subsidy-oriented bootstrappers; (4) minimizing bootstrappers; (5) non-bootstrappers; and (6) private owner-financed bootstrappers. The groups of financial bootstrappers show differences in their orientation toward resource acquisition, representing different aspects of an internal mode of resource acquisition, a social mode of resource acquisition, and a quasi-market mode of resource acquisition. We find that the delaying bootstrappers, private owner-financed bootstrappers, and minimizing bootstrappers all represent an internal mode of resource acquisition. The relationship-oriented bootstrappers follow a socially oriented mode of resource acquisition, whereas the subsidy-oriented bootstrappers apply quasi-market oriented resource acquisition.



This study contributes to our empirical understanding by providing knowledge about the financial bootstrapping methods used in small businesses. Furthermore, by developing concepts this study contributes to the conceptual development of our knowledge about financial bootstrapping. The implication of this study is that financial bootstrapping is a phenomenon which deserves more attention in future research on small business finance. At the same time, financial bootstrapping behavior is probably a more general phenomenon, appearing in different contexts, such as R&D activities in large businesses, financing start-ups, etc. Finally, the study points out implications for small business managers, consultants, teachers, etc. Practitioners often tend to focus on market solutions to resource needs. This study shows, however, that this strong focus can be questioned. Resources needed in small businesses can in many situations be secured using financial bootstrapping methods, referring to internally oriented and socially oriented resource acquisition strategies. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Business Venturing
volume
16
issue
3
pages
235 - 254
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:0043228502
ISSN
0883-9026
DOI
10.1016/S0883-9026(99)00055-5
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
fa2f0a62-ca23-4309-906f-3003a8f48a5f (old id 5268204)
date added to LUP
2015-04-08 16:18:55
date last changed
2018-08-19 03:35:53
@article{fa2f0a62-ca23-4309-906f-3003a8f48a5f,
  abstract     = {In recent years, small businesses have received much attention from policy makers and researchers, in that these businesses are considered important for economic growth and job creation. At the same time small businesses are assumed to face major problems in securing long-term external finance, which is regarded as restraining their development and growth. Small business managers are assumed to use institutional finance as a means of meeting the need for resources, and as a consequence the major part of the research on small business finance has focused on constraints in the supply of institutional (market) finance.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
As we see it, most small business managers handle the need for resources using means other than external finance by applying different kinds of financial bootstrapping methods. Financial bootstrapping refers to the use of methods for meeting the need for resources without relying on long-term external finance from debt holders and/or new owners. However, these other means of resource acquisition have, with few exceptions, not been focused on within earlier research on small business finance. Against this background, the purpose of this study is to describe small business managers' use of different financial bootstrapping methods, and, more importantly, to develop concepts that can help us better understand small business managers' financial bootstrapping behaviors.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The research process was initiated with a number of unstructured interviews conducted with small business managers, accountants, consultants, bank officials, and researchers, in order to identify different financial bootstrapping possibilities. On the basis of the interviews and an earlier study on financial bootstrapping, resulting in the identification of 32 bootstrapping methods, a questionnaire was constructed and sent to 900 small business managers in Sweden. Given the limited knowledge within the area of financial bootstrapping, the study is based on explorative factor analysis and cluster analysis.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
From the cluster analysis six clusters of bootstrappers were identified, differing from each other with respect to the bootstrapping methods used and the characteristics of the business. On the basis of this information the different clusters were labeled: (1) delaying bootstrappers; (2) relationship-oriented bootstrappers; (3) subsidy-oriented bootstrappers; (4) minimizing bootstrappers; (5) non-bootstrappers; and (6) private owner-financed bootstrappers. The groups of financial bootstrappers show differences in their orientation toward resource acquisition, representing different aspects of an internal mode of resource acquisition, a social mode of resource acquisition, and a quasi-market mode of resource acquisition. We find that the delaying bootstrappers, private owner-financed bootstrappers, and minimizing bootstrappers all represent an internal mode of resource acquisition. The relationship-oriented bootstrappers follow a socially oriented mode of resource acquisition, whereas the subsidy-oriented bootstrappers apply quasi-market oriented resource acquisition.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
This study contributes to our empirical understanding by providing knowledge about the financial bootstrapping methods used in small businesses. Furthermore, by developing concepts this study contributes to the conceptual development of our knowledge about financial bootstrapping. The implication of this study is that financial bootstrapping is a phenomenon which deserves more attention in future research on small business finance. At the same time, financial bootstrapping behavior is probably a more general phenomenon, appearing in different contexts, such as R&amp;D activities in large businesses, financing start-ups, etc. Finally, the study points out implications for small business managers, consultants, teachers, etc. Practitioners often tend to focus on market solutions to resource needs. This study shows, however, that this strong focus can be questioned. Resources needed in small businesses can in many situations be secured using financial bootstrapping methods, referring to internally oriented and socially oriented resource acquisition strategies.},
  author       = {Winborg, Joakim and Landström, Hans},
  issn         = {0883-9026},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {235--254},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Business Venturing},
  title        = {Financial bootstrapping in small businesses: examining small business managers' resource acquisition behaviors},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0883-9026(99)00055-5},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2001},
}